Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Reviews of THE NORRIS GIRLS from girl readers

Dear Nigel

I thought the book was fantastic and I would recommend to everyone that is the age of 9-14.
I loved the way that the girls stuck together when they heard the devastating news of their dad being captured.
My favourite character would have to be Katie because 1. She is my age 2. She loves animals and horses, ponies 3. She was very kind and generous giving up her Pony,Matt to raise money for her dad just like Beth did for Water Angles so I think she was just pure awesome!
I know this sounds bad but I thought the bit where the dad got captured and was getting held hostage with the other 2 men was exciting, and you were waiting to see what would happen.
I never left the book down and I would rate it 10 out of 10 or a gold medal.
Awesome book!!!👍😀📚🖋📝
 From Zoe






Monday, 26 June 2017

First review of THE NORRIS GIRLS and it's a great one, too.

 



The Norris Girls by Nigel Hinton

























I remember searching for new Nigel Hinton books when I was in my teens, relishing Collision CourseThe Finders and Buddy. So, when I was approached by an independent publisher to review a book they were calling ‘Little Women’ for the twenty-first century, I was a little surprised to discover the author was the very same. It’s a far cry from the broken father/son relationship of Buddy, or the guilt-ridden teenage angst of Collision Course. And yet, is it?
In fact, the book owes more to Hinton’s previous novels and his exploration of family relationships than it does Little Women, (although there is a Beth in both, and a tomboy, not called Jo, but Georgy). Hinton explores sibling relationships, guilt, and personal passions, which come together to form a rounded family portrait, in this delightfully vivacious novel for children.
The father in the Norris girls is working abroad, in dangerous territory. But life at home goes on. Beth is in her early teens, keen to shine in the school musical, whilst keeping her options open with potential boyfriends, Georgy is focussed on her running and trying out for the Inter-Counties competition, and Katie, the youngest, wants a pet.
The chapters move between the siblings, giving each their own perspective on the others at home, but also insight into their own preoccupations. What Hinton does here, by voicing so many points of view, is to show a typical family structure at work – each person enveloped within their own interests and individual lives, and yet also part of a whole – sharing relationships and worries and common goals. The reader gets a clear view of the girls’ individual passions and hobbies and friendships, yet also sees how that bounces off the conflicts and dilemmas within the family. The tension mounts as each faces a struggle on their own, which is all the time very much tied to the general conflict when their father gets taken hostage.
There is a lovely balance of supportive and friendly adults, as well as those who offer support in a harsher manner, with the petty jealousies, bickering, and upsets between peers. There are also strong friendships, as well as burgeoning boyfriend/girlfriend scenarios – but all on such a tame level that it’s quite suitable for a young audience. In fact, an older audience might be less taken with the chapters told from Katie’s point of view, endearing though they are.
There are ups and downs for the girls, successes and failures. Hinton captures well Georgy’s running abilities, and gives a real poignancy to Katie’s loveable ways. I wanted to feel Beth in a little more depth – she is at that perfect age where she’s struggling to identify herself as a girlfriend and as a teen within the family – she argues most with their mother, but I would have liked to see this more. Hinton also uses the first chapter to explore her texting with her friend, but this dies down shortly afterwards and it could have been embellished further – teens look to friends so much in the scenarios in which Beth finds herself.
But these small criticisms aside, this is a read to relish. As easy and breezy to read as a Jacqueline Wilson, yet filled with pathos and understanding. For me, it was less Little Women, and more like the Gemma stories by Noel Streatfield. The characters are fresh and sharp and have so much more to give – I would warrant this could be stretched to a series easily.
Hinton’s style and characterisations shine through, and he’s embraced the modernity of the girls’ lives, with video chats, phones at the ready, and media galore. He’s collided into the world of girls beautifully, with a soft ending that exemplifies exactly why his publishers have compared it to Little Women, or The Railway Children in fact. You can’t beat a happy ending for precipitating the tears. You can purchase it here.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

THE NORRIS GIRLS BLOG PIECE

Check out my guest blog piece about THE NORRIS GIRLS on the wonderful Cathy Cassidy's blog, Dreamcatcher.

cathycassidydreamcatcher.blogspot.com/

Thursday, 1 June 2017

I'm delighted that my new book, THE NORRIS GIRLS, is published today. It's a real departure for me - a book for girls about girls (although I hope guys will like it, too!). It was inspired by reading LITTLE WOMEN. I thought, I'd like to write a 21st century version, with sisters and a dad off in a dangerous place. Two great writers for girls, Jacqueline Wilson and Cathy Cassidy have given me terrific quotes for the cover of the book.

Goodreads are offering ten signed copies for free. Meanwhile there's a great Norris Girls playlist on Spotify - https://twitter.com/NHinton_Author/status/869237604755148800


A very cool cover, I think.